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Simply Felt: 20 Easy and Elegant Designs in Wool
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Simply Felt: 20 Easy and Elegant Designs in Wool [Paperback]

Margaret Docherty , Jayne Emerson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 1, 2004
The fundamentals of felting including choosing fibers and colors, making flat felt and boiling felt, and stitching felt are demonstrated in 20 beautiful projects in a range of contemporary colors in this beginner's guide. Projects include a cloche hat, a child's jacket, slippers, delicate scarves, square and inlayed throw pillows, and a long-lasting rug. Each project is presented with simple step-by-step instructions, illustrations, and alternative samples and suggestions that help felters to create their own designs. Felters can bring this highly handcrafted style into their wardrobes and home decor with these simple and beautiful pieces.

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Editorial Reviews


"Fun for people of all ages and experience...Transform it from ordinary to something feltastic!"  —Country Accents

About the Author

Margaret Docherty is a fiber artist who teaches felt making, rug making, and vegetable dyeing. Jayne Emerson is an embroidery and textile designer whose designs sell to a wide range of internationally renowned fashion houses, including Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, and Louis Vuitton. She is the designer and cofounder of the UK fashion label Salvage Salvage.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Interweave Press (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931499705
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931499705
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #685,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews
99 of 99 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Felt projects that are not run-of-the-mill September 30, 2004
Forgive the textile-mill double-entendre here, but "Simply Felt" has a number of unique projects to tempt the beginning and advanced felt-maker.

Felt is a fun way to process sheep's wool, and it's growing in popularity. With a scrub board, soap and some fleece, you can create a finished project (garment, bag, vest, hat) in less time than it takes to spin and knit. Felt is an ancient art, predating woven fabrics, and still used today by many cultures for traditional garb; for example, the Siberian "valenki" are felt boots or liners that resist cold and snow better than leather. And many hats are traditionally made of felt on a block.

Speaking of hats, this book has a cloche hat I really liked. My favorite project, however, was a pillow of small squares sewn together with the seams out, for texture. If you make small pieces of felt and don't know what to do with the swatches, here's a great project for you.. There are bags, cache-pots, teapot warmers, slippers and a lot more. Many of the projects look a bit modernistic (abstract fiber imbedded to make a design) but you can use the methods to create your own design and go from there. I did not like some of the projects colorways or ornamentation, but every one gave me the thought "if I did THIS instead..." which is great; you don't need to copy these projects to use them. (I will say, however, that I adored the pillow colorway--pale blues, creams and grays, enough to make one of my own.) I figure, if you take these methods and employ your own tastes and ideas, you are sure to find some excellent projects to make here. This would also be ideal for a girl or boy scout troop badge project, a 4-H project (especially for a young person who raises sheep) or for your child or students, as felt is fairly amenable to children's abilities and interests.
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars taking felt to a new level July 20, 2006
I already own several felting books (The Art of Feltmaking and Exploring Textile Arts) and when I purchased this one I was very excited to learn more about this ancient craft. When the book arrived I didn't think there was a lot of new information in it at first, compared to what I already have. I was somewhat disappointed (although the diagrams are good and the directions are clear) but at the very end of the book -- ta da! -- I suddenly became inspired. That was what I wanted... something new and inspirational.

In the section called Decorative Flat Felt, she suggests adding small amounts of wool to to a fabric base, such as chiffon, silk, cheesecloth, or voile to make "a marvelously light and airy but durable fabric, which is ideal for scarves." I love the idea of combining cheesecloth with felt. Very inexpensive and easy to try. She gives a lot of suggestions using silk fibers, many of which are gorgeous. I like the Silk Inlaid Lampshade (page 67) -- an idea which was completely new to me. The Inlaid Containers (shown on the cover) are brilliant -- so easy to do, so useful!

But my two favorite projects, by far, are the last two: Child's Silk-Lined Jacket (page 111) and the Pictoral Pillow (page 115). The jacket is drop-dead gorgeous and looks really fun to make, which is more important than being gorgeous because otherwise you won't bother to make it. The pillow section is full of good ideas and these projects are more about already having the skill to make the basic structure and letting your imagination run wild when it comes to the embellishments.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Inspirational! April 6, 2006
I am a spinner, weaver, knitter and crocheter, but I've done very little (intentional) felting...until now! This book starts off with a very brief chapter on machine felting (taking a knitted or crocheted piece of fabric and shrinking it into felt using the washing machine), but then moves quickly on to traditional felting techniques using loose fiber. Projects are grouped into chapters by felting technique, beginning with the easiest (making flat felt pieces like table runners and rugs) and ending with three-dimensional, seamless felting (hats, jackets, bags, etc). At all stages, the learning of a technique is emphasized over blindly following a pattern. Even though many patterns are included for each technique, variations are suggested and experimentation is encouraged. Just paging through this book is inspirational. The photography is lush, the projects themselves are comfy yet luxurious (such as a silk-lined, felted child's jacket made without a single seam), and best of all, none of the projects or techniques are the least intimidating. Very highly recommended!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Sensual, Fun, and Interesting April 25, 2006
By PaulaB
Simply Felt is a great book! The photography really captures the color vibrancy of dyed wool and the soft, sensual texture of felt. Additionally, the colors chosen for many of the projects were subtle and enhanced that cozy, comfy quality that is characteristically felt. The illustrations are fun to look at and easy to follow. Many of the projects described in this book are not only great as learning vehicles, but are also functional. The first half of the book describes how to make basic flat felt. The second half describes how to make "seamless" felt and includes projects like slippers, hats, and vases (see cover photo). The instructions are pretty clear, but there were some typos in the second half of the book which could cause confusion. However, the processes described are simple enough that with a little patience most people will make it thru to success. If you are a crafter or interested in textiles and fiber, you'll be happy to have this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Felting techniques.
Another addition to my collection of books on felting. I am definitely going to make a bowl.
Published 22 days ago by Galynn Zitnik
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book. Surprised at the great condition
Excellent book. Surprised at the great condition!
Published 4 months ago by J. Payne
5.0 out of 5 stars love felting!!!!
Interesting projects with helpful instructions.
Published 11 months ago by edsgirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love the book.
Published 12 months ago by Sara Lazwik
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A little too crafty for my taste....but a well constructed instructional.
Published 15 months ago by Rochelle B
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for inspiration
Beautiful pictures and the steps are easy enough to follow if you have been working with welt felt for any amount of time. Great for inspiration.
Published 19 months ago by Judith A. King-harmon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Nice book. Clearly written instructions. Good addition to my Felt library.
Published 19 months ago by karma
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Love all the ideas in this book. Very creative and original. Would definitely recommend it to any one interested in felting.
Published on May 8, 2014 by kyfarmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Ohh this book !
This book is a wonderful read. It has excellent tips and advice and all sorts of cool projects. An easy read , maybe too easy ! Wonderful images and fires the imagination ... Read more
Published on March 21, 2014 by Suzie
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Wool Felt Projects
There are several neat projects each with good direction, pictures and details. I recommend finding a place to purchase quality felt or be prepared to make your own. Read more
Published on March 10, 2014 by Richard Morales
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